Editor’s note: The Framingham Homework Center, at the Framingham Public Library, held its 4th annual essay contest. The topic this year, decided by the teens on the Homework Center’s advisory board, was what three areas should Framingham’s first mayor focus her attention towards?
Two middle schools students and one high school student each won $100 for best essay. Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer announced the winners, who were chosen by a blind committee. There was a tie for middle school essay winner.
Below is the winning essay by Michael Najarian III, an 8th grader at the Fuller Middle School. It is published as written.
My name is Michael Najarian, and I am an 8th grader at Fuller Middle School, and I am a life-long resident of Framingham. I have some ideas to help improve Framinghm as a new city, which include transportation, downtown revitalization, and plans for a community center.
While reading the Framingham Source, I learned that you also want to build a community center for the city of Framingham (somewhere on southside) after getting feedback from residents. This is a good idea because it provides our youth with a place to study, socialize, play games, and get to know others. It can help keep our youth safe from potentially harmful situations (I.E. crime, cyber-bullyng). Your claims to support the center revolved around the fact that the Police Athletic League and the Boys & Girls Club were lacking space. This center is not only beneficial for the youth, but alos the entire community as a way to interact with more of their neighbors.
Obviously, this is going to cost a lot, but have you considered sponsorship? We have large nationwide companies such as Staples and Bose, whose headquarters are right here in Framingham, as well as local banks and businesses who may be willing to sponsor the center, in return for advertising. (i.e., “The _____________Bank Community Center”)
Transportation is another issue. As you know, many people in Framingham like to complain about traffic, but they forget the pollution it causes, which is also a serious issue. The current MWRTA is a good start, but it can be better. Having a reliable bus system takes cars off the road, which cuts down on traffic, and also cuts down on pollution.
Investing in eco-frienfly buses would help the environment and the quality of life for many resident by helping them get to work, shopping, and even the commuter rail. Also a relaiable transit system wcould potentially encourage more people to visit downtown.
During your inaugural speech, you mentioned small businesses. A robust public transit system would benefit the existing small businesses downtown.
Speaking of downtown, it’s revitalization is important.
Recently, Framingham spent a lot of money on sidewalks and street lights, but I think more can be done. In downtown, we have a lot of great things. The library, city hall, a train station, and some restaurants, and other businesses. Some of those businesses, however, are failing because a lot of people don’t go there on a daily basis. A lot of people aren;t going because of their concern about the homeless population. You, as mayor, can promote downtown, encouraging more businesses to come, while finding ways to help the homeless population in a compassionate way.
While there ar emore things I can say, downtown reviatlization, transportation, and a commnity center were important to me. Those things, combined with our new city council and school committee members, can help you accomplish the goal of making Framingham a great place to quote the inauguration speech “Live, Work & Play.”